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Conservative MPs accuse Trudeau of pushing 'vaccine vendetta'
#1      Conservative MPs accuse Trudeau of pushing 'vaccine vendetta' as convoy protest heads to Ottawa

Conservative MPs accuse Trudeau of pushing 'vaccine vendetta' as convoy protest heads to Ottawa
John Paul Tasker 8 hrs ago
Conservative MPs fiercely opposed to the federal government's new vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers have slammed what they call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "vaccine vendetta," saying that the policy will disrupt the country's supply chains.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, the party's finance critic, claimed the government's vaccine policy is "emptying grocery shelves and ballooning food prices," leaving some Canadians to "go hungry."

Garnett Genuis, a Conservative MP from Alberta, said he stands with unvaccinated truckers who plan on protesting the mandate. "Time to end Justin Trudeau's nonsensical vaccine vendetta," he said in a recent social media post.

The party's transport critic, MP Melissa Lantsman, urged supporters to sign a petition opposing new vaccine requirements. She claimed the policy would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and "empty shelves in Canadian retail sectors."

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, who has opposed vaccine mandates for federal public servants and the travelling public, said today that Trudeau is intent on "dividing Canadians" by pushing shots on truckers.

He said the government could instead administer rapid tests at the border for unvaccinated drivers to avoid disrupting the flow of goods at a time of high inflation.

"Let's be crystal clear. We can advocate for vaccines but also advocate for people to not lose their ... home or their livelihood," he said, calling for what he called "practical" alternatives to a vaccine mandate.

O'Toole said that — with the exception of some doctors who regularly appear on television promoting public health measures — he has "encouraged vaccination more than any Canadian."

O'Toole also called on the government to either scrap or pause a planned increase in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions. He said Canadians can't afford to take a hit to their paycheques with inflation now at its highest level in decades.

The vaccine policy stems from a Jan. 13 decision by the federal government to extend most of the border policies that already apply to the general public to essential workers — including truckers, who up to now have been freely crossing the Canada-U.S. border.

While the policy was announced initially in November, the government appeared to backtrack earlier this month when a spokesperson told journalists the policy would not come into force as planned. That statement was sent "in error," Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos later said.

As of last week, all Canadian truckers must show they've had two doses of an mRNA vaccine — or one dose of a Johnson & Johnson shot — if they want to avoid stringent testing requirements and a lengthy quarantine period.

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